I am a Tombstone Tourist: someone who loves to wander cemeteries. I find it akin to visiting a museum: an opportunity to enjoy rarely seen sculpture, intricate carvings, and amazing architecture, all in a tranquil outdoor setting. This blog is about cemetery culture, art, history, issues of death, and genealogy - subjects of current relevance. I usually find something that intrigues me and makes me want to dig deeper. Care to join me? Read on...
Friday, January 9, 2015
Buried Standing Up - A New Tradition?
is a “new” angle on traditional burial – burying the body standing up. Not only
is it innovative, it is also a very green, saves space and is an economical
is tradition in the U.S. to bury a person lying down with arms bent and hands
folded across the chest, usually in a wooden casket, unless your religion or
conscious stipulates a shroud. It has been only recently that have we started
gaining an interest in biodegradable coffins and burial shrouds, green
cemeteries, and other alternative funeral procedures.
Upright Burials based in
Camperdown, Victoria, Australia. Back in 1984 a group of friends had the idea
to start a business that would bury people standing up – In 2010, the company
had their first upright burial.
Burials has added a step that just makes sense – in order for the body to be
buried in an upright position, it must first be frozen solid. This is done
instead of embalming. The body is then placed in a biodegradable shroud and
buried in a vertical plot that is 10 feet deep and just over 2 feet wide. The
cost for an Upright Burial is under $3,000; that’s somewhere around half the
price of a traditional horizontal burial. But not every cemetery will accept
such an unconventional arrangement.
no graveside services are held during the burial, family and friends are free
to hold a memorial service at another location. According to Upright Burials
managing director, Tony Dupleix, “We
offer a simple respectful burial where people aren't challenged to choose
between levels of guilt and love in selecting expensive coffins."
Burials has their own cemetery - Kurweeton Road Cemetery, which is located
southwest of Mt. Elephant, an extinct volcano, located on the western plains of
Victoria. There is enough room for 40,000 such burials here. And you will notice that there are no
grave markers in the cemetery, instead the name of the deceased is placed on a
memorial wall and a tree is planted on Mt Elephant for each person buried. The
exact location of the burial can be found using GPS coordinates.
while innovate, this is a centuries-old idea. More than one thousand years ago,
the Peruvians buried their royalty in an upright position, and in some ancient
societies, warriors were buried standing up as a sign of respect.
not the usually burial position in the U.S. (we seem to prefer laying in repose
as we await eternity), there are some noted upright burials that have occurred across
our country …
Colonel George Hancock was interred in the family mausoleum at Fotheringay in
Botetourt County, Virginia standing up. Before Hancock died in 1820, he stated
that he wished to be buried standing (some say sitting) up so he could look
down into the valley below and see that his slaves were hard at work …
was 1812 when James Britton (Brit) Bailey purchased a parcel of Texas land from
the Spanish government. Calling it Bailey’s Prairie, Bailey moved his family
onto it and began building a cabin. After Mexico won its independence from
Spain, officials refused to recognize Baily’s rights to the land. When told to
move, Bailey refused. In fact, he continued to fight with authorities in the
area until he died of cholera in 1832. In his will, Bailey requested, “my remains (be) interred erect with my face
fronting the West." The reason, according to Bailey, “I have never looked up to any man, so I do
not want it said `here lies old Brit Bailey', but rather, `here stands Brit
Bailey.” It was also said thatBailey
was buried with his rifle at his side and a jug of whisky at his feet.
Old Burton Cemetery
Indiana, Patriot soldier Pvt. John Pleasant Burton requested to be buried
standing up. When he died in 1836, he was interred in an upright position in
Old Burton Cemetery near Mitchell, Indiana. Burton is the only know Hoosier to
be buried standing up.
Tennessee Methodist Conference circuit preacher, Rev. Joshua Boucher, was buried
standing up in Old Town Cemetery in Athens, Alabama on August 23, 1845. Boucher
had arthritis and was concerned that it might prevent him from rising on the
Day of Judgment.
1992, cowboy Jimmy Dale Struble was buried standing up at Glade Park Cemetery
in Grand Junction, Colorado. Struble had been confined to a wheel chair for
several years as the result of a fight. Friends said Struble had hated having
to lie down for six years so he decided to be buried standing up with his boots
will the advantages of saving space and being environmentally friendly change
the way we bury our dead? Only time will tell … but it does seem like a